The Agriculture Competitiveness Project in Can Tho city that kicked off more than a year ago has helped farmers improve yields and profits, local officials have said.

Speaking at a recent seminar, Pham Van Quynh, director of the Can Tho Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, attributed the success to advanced farming techniques and a shift from small-scale production to large-scale production.

Can Tho has also organised 480 training courses on cultivation techniques for 24,000 farmers to teach them about the so-called "one must and five reductions" model.

The "must" task is to use certified seeds. The "five reductions" refer to reducing the high number of seeds planted, the use of plant-protection drugs and nitrogen fertiliser, the amount of irrigation water, and post-harvest losses.

The city has also given farmers three laser-levelling systems, three tractors and two combine machines.

Nguyen Van Thanh, head of a large-scale rice-field co-operative team in Vinh Thanh district, said the project had created conditions for farmers to access advanced farming techniques, improve yield, and increase profits by about 40 percent.

Phan Tan Hung, head of a large-scale rice field co-operative team in Co Do district, said the rice yield of his team under the project had increased by 820 kilo per ha.

"In addition, the environment is protected and the rice quality is better," he said.

Nguyen Thi Kieu, Deputy Director of the Can Tho Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the area planted with high-quality rice and fragrance-speciality rice accounted for 80 percent of the city's total rice area.

The profits of farmers participating in the project's rice production model have increased by 4.8 million VND (228 USD) per ha per crop, she said.

The Agriculture Competitiveness Project for Vietnam, funded by the World Bank and non-bank sources, is carried out in Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) and Central regions and the Mekong Delta.-VNA